• One Minnesota Writer

Here’s Your Metaphor from the Badlands

I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the Badlands this past week. If you don’t like stark surroundings, this may not be for you. But, sometimes, when I really need to reconnect with myself, without input from anyone else, this is the place to go. In September, when kids are back in school, there aren’t a lot of people around. The vastness of the place lends itself to contemplative time, to a stillness that allows buried thoughts to bubble up and take shape. Even for me, a person who thrives in an urban setting, the sheer harshness of a place like the Badlands challenges me in a way that little else can. To hike in the Badlands is to consider how a basic shift in perspective changes everything. That little shift is all it takes to make a difference between emerging from a path in one piece or being hopelessly lost. 

Now there’s a metaphor we can all work with.


Being in the Badlands meant I was right next to the Pine Ridge Reservation, a place where poverty touches almost everyone. In the midst of amazing beauty is intense need. Find out more by visiting the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation‘s site here.

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